Horse the band (often typeset as HORSE the band) is an experimental metalcore band from Lake Forest, CA. Their current keyboardist uses a Game Boy cartridge to achieve an 8-bit video game-influenced sound, a reason behind their tongue-in-cheek labeling of "Nintendocore".
Throughout 2006 the band toured with a diverse assortment of artists. It toured around the country with The Fall of Troy, Poison the Well, and Criteria. Then, a month after this tour finished on May 28, 2006, HORSE started a tour with Gatsby's American Dream, Portugal. The Man, and Forgive Durden.
The band dropped off of the tour early, proclaiming that the reason the members couldn't continue was because they were in Chicago eating pizza, and claiming that it was the best pizza they had ever eaten. After dropping out of the tour, the band went on to perform at the Warped Tour, as well as the Sounds of the Underground tour. During these tours, the band recorded Pizza and played shows with GWAR. The EP was released on September 5, 2006.
During the fall of 2006, the band has continued touring to support Pizza with All That Remains and DragonForce. The tour began in Los Angeles, California on September 8, 2006. After the tour finished, the band began writing its new album, and had hoped to have had it recorded by March 2007.
On Dec 25 2006, the band issued a special song for Christmas on its MySpace page entitled "A Partridge", a comical spin on the popular Christmas song "The Twelve Days of Christmas". According to a MySpace bulletin concerning the song, it was written and recorded in a single day.
In February 2007, during the recording of the band's next album, an official HORSE the band YouTube channel was started to display videos of the recording process. The channel quickly turned into a forum for the band to post episodes of its own drama "Lawrence and Friends," a show about a love triangle between a sugar cube, a suicidal pencil, and a postcard of Carla Hassett. The band has written a theme song for the show in its classic synthesizer fashion.
Early 2008 saw the band planning a world tour that would hit 40 countries starting in early March. The band stated "we've become disillusioned, bad-attitude nerds and pariahs of the established music industry. They asked for their fans' help booking shows in most locations, with no plans of bringing other bands along on the tour.
On February 17th, 2008 it was announced that Chris Prophet had left the band and that Jon Karel from The Number 12 Looks Like You would be filling in on drums during the world tour. In July, 2008 the band stated that long-time band friend Daniel Pouliot of Bleeding Kansas has joined as the band's full time drummer. Daniel had previously filled in as bassist in 2004 after the sudden departure of Andy Stokes.
The fans' response is equally as energetic. It is customary that fans clap their hands above their heads during the song "Cutsman" to imitate the scissors above the head of the Mega Man boss Cut Man that the song references. Also catching on is the new pre-Cutsman-breakdown "dance" pose "The Phalanx", in which fans form a circle in the center of a mosh pit by getting back to back, moving clockwise, and bringing their hands above their heads to continue the traditional Cutsman hand-cutting style. Meanwhile, vocalist Nathan Winneke begins with the words "Cut, cut...". Another recent trend is the dance for the song The Red Tornado (Refers to the DC Comics character Red Tornado) in which fans enter mosh pits, extend their arms in complete opposite directions, and spin 360º to emulate the "tornado" image.
The band had jokingly labeled themselves "Nintendocore" very early on in their career. Some such characters are metaphorically referred to include Cut Man from Mega Man, although the song is spelled "Cutsman"; Birdo, one of the bosses from the NES game Super Mario Bros. 2, in the song "Birdo"; and the rabbit-like nemesis from The Legend of Zelda in the song "Pol's Voice". Similarly, the song "A Million Exploding Suns" refers to the Marvel Comics character Sentry, a schizophrenic hero with this abundance of power. While these characters are certainly mentioned, the actual songs themselves have nothing to do with them. They are simply a metaphor to represent something else that Winneke has experienced in his lifetime.
2007's A Natural Death featured significant lyrical and musical evolution into the concepts of nature and mortality while moving slightly away from the Nintendo metaphors. The song "Murder" is inspired by the Western novel Lonesome Dove, in which a Native American named Blue Duck stalks and kills white settlers on the plains.
A Natural Death can be played infinitely and in a continuous loop. The last song, "Lif", ends with the sound of howling winds that open the album's first song, "Hyperborea". This may be a representation on the infinite progressive continuity of the cycle of life and death, in line with the main themes of the album. In this sense, it's very similar to Pink Floyd's landmark 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon, which begins and ends with the sound of a heart beating to symbolize life and death.
The band has also been filming Tour Journals for Earth Tour which are put on Youtube by filmer and director Gary Lachance. As of May 3 two videos have been released:
The videos have been said to be part of a new reality show for Fuse TV but there has not yet been word from Fuse confirming interest in a project with the band.
In June 2008, it was announced that HORSE the band has been dropped from Koch Records. Koch Records exercised its contractual prerogative citing the desire to cut unprofitable artists acquired during the take over of Combat Records.
HORSE the band will be writing a new album in the winter, record during the spring, and tour in the summer in support of the album as it is released.